Tolleson, Odor on track for spring action

Tolleson, Odor on track for spring action

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- With just over two weeks left before they break camp, the Rangers are getting two key players back in the mix.

Closer Shawn Tolleson, who was being held back because of some tightness in his lower back, threw one inning in a Minor League game on Tuesday. Second baseman Rougned Odor, who has been sidelined with a strained right oblique muscle, still hasn't returned to the lineup, but he has been taking batting practice without any issues.

"I was feeling a little sore, so they just tried to be careful and give me a couple of days," Odor said. "Now I feel 100 percent."

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Odor has been sidelined for a week and has played in just three Cactus League games. He has two singles in six at-bats.

"I think this is Day 7, so in seven days, he has probably missed three games," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He is swinging the bat, so we still have plenty of time to get up and running by Opening Day, as long as he hits all his check marks, as far as health."

Tolleson threw 12 pitches in one inning for Class A Advanced High Desert against Rancho Cucamonga. He struck out two and allowed a home run.

Tolleson is used to abbreviated Spring Trainings. He has been limited to just four Cactus League appearances in each of the past two springs because of arm injuries. Tolleson could get more action this spring if there are no setbacks, including going back-to-back games at least once.

"We want to see health, the arm strength is there, and the ability to pitch," Banister said. "Just getting him up and on the mound is necessary, start building up pitch count."

30 in 30: Joey Gallo

Gallo keeps hitting blasts: Joey Gallo's fifth-inning home run off veteran left-handed reliever Tom Gorzelanny in Tuesday's 5-4 Rangers victory over the Indians was his third homer in his last four games. This one was deep over the right-field wall, hitting the back of the party tent well above the berm.

"They don't give extra points for length, but that was pretty impressive," Banister said.

"I didn't see it, that was high," Gallo said. "I was watching the right fielder. … When he didn't move, I knew it was gone. I didn't know where it hit."

Gallo, Texas' top prospect, according to MLB.com, was 2-for-2 and has six hits in his last 11 at-bats. The home runs are what had everybody talking.

"It's Spring Training. … Who cares?" Gallo said. "I'm just trying to ride it as long as I can, and take it into the season."

Worth noting 

• In addition to left field, Ian Desmond will also see some action in center, just to get familiar with the position.

Ryan Rua started at first base against the Indians. He was 3-for-4 at the plate and is hitting .500 (12-for-24) in the Cactus League.

Jeremy Guthrie started for High Desert against Rancho Cucamonga and pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out six.

• Right-handed relievers Tom Wilhelmsen and Keone Kela both pitched scoreless innings in that game, retiring the side in order. Kela struck out two of three batters.

• Rangers pitchers for the weekend series against the Royals in San Antonio are Derek Holland and Phil Klein on Friday night, followed by A.J. Griffin and Cesar Ramos on Saturday.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.